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Series / Baantjer

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The main cast of Baantjer

De Cock: "Mijn naam is De Cock, met cee-oo-cee-kaa" note 

Baantjer is a Dutch Detective Drama series which was broadcast from 1995 to 2006 by Dutch commercial broadcaster RTL, based on novels written by writer and former detective Appie Baantjer.

Set in Amsterdam, the series features veteran detective Jurriaan "Jurre" De Cock as he solves often bizarre murder cases. He is assisted by his young and overconfident assistant Dick Vledder, no-nonsense policewoman Vera Prins, computer expert Albert Keizer and coroner Ennaeus den Koninghe. Most murders involve a strange modus operandi or involve people from a wide variety of subcultures.

The series is arguably the most successful Dutch detective series ever and has been exported to France and Belgium. The series is also known for its spectacular number of reruns.

In 1999 a movie involving the television cast was made: Baantjer, de film: De Cock en de wraak zonder einde.

This series provides examples of:

  • Always Murder: Averted. One case involves an accident. A young girl playfully jumps onto her father from a height whilst he is writing, causing his ballpoint to get lodged into his nose, puncturing his brain.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: The killer of the episode "De Cock en de enge moord" suffered from this, as he had no recollection of his homocidal alter ego commiting a gruesome murder. De Cock even felt sorry for him, as (along with the murderer) he also had to lock up a person who was truly innocent to the whole thing.
  • Asshole Victim: Some of the murder victims are revealed to have been such horrible people that it's hard to feel pity for them:
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord onder doktoren" was a pedophile (and a proud supporter of pedophilia at that), who had sexually abused several young boys together with his "friends" and had made videos of the abuse as some twisted kind of trophies. His killer was one of his former victims, who had come to confront him about the abuse, but was goaded into murdering him, after the victim threatened to show the videos of his abuse to the killer's girlfriend, in an attempt to silence him. Even De Cock had no sympathy for the victim in this case.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op de Rode Roos" was a handsome young man, who willingly infected his various one-night stands and girlfriends with HIV, due to unsafe sex whilst being seropositive. His killer murdered him, because he infected her and wouldn't stop sleeping around, even after she warned him about his disease.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op de marktmeester" was an exceedingly racist quarter master, who charged people of colour extra to set up a stall at the market he controlled (or even outright refused them to set up stall). He was murdered in a fit of rage by one of the traders who became a victim of this and most of the other traders, subsequently, helped to cover up the murder.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op het menu" was a caustic food critic, who ruined the reputation of a plethora of restaurants in Amsterdam. He, furthermore, mistreated his family (including his terminally-ill wife) to the point that the killer, his son, poisoned him with rat poison to avenge his mother, who had apparently died in agony.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op de buurman" was an animal abuser who was thoroughly hated by all of his neighbours and even framed an innocent man for the murder of one of his colleagues. His killer turned out to be his current girlfriend, who also happened to be the murdered colleague's widow, who found out on the day of the murder that he had killed her husband.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op het beest" was a misogynistic bastard, who cheated on his wife with several women and psychologically abused her to the point of breaking her. He was eventually murdered by his wife's best friends, who hated him enough to beat him up with hockey sticks and throw him out the window.
    • Coen Simons from "De Cock en de vleesgeworden moord" used to be a high school bully and swindled one of his former victims out of his money too.
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord met een tic" was a psychologist who sexually abused his daughter throughout most of her teens and drove his wife to an early grave because of it. It was, furthermore, implied that he had, in fact, murdered his wife by proxy, although this was not proven. The killer turned out to be his son, who had recently found out about the abuse and confronted him with it, only to hear from him that his sister had seduced him into abusing her. The killer's response was to shoot the victim in the groin and through the head (in that order).
    • The victim of the episode "De Cock en de moord op de tuin" was an anti-social man, who incited his dog to bring as much unrest and destruction to his local community garden as possible. Both he and his dog were feared (and hated) by most of the hobby gardeners in the community garden. However, the man was murdered by mistake, as his dog was the intended victim. Nevertheless, noone in the community garden shed a tear over the man's sudden demise.
    • Ernst Dietrich from "De Cock en de moord in de 3e positie" was a ballet instructor who sexually abused some of his students. Worse yet, it was an Open Secret and it's stated that he didn't even bother being discreet about it.
    • Gerrit Koedoder from "De Cock en de bedrogen moordenaar" was a deadbeat journalist who regularly cheated on his wife and sold off her possessions to pay off his gambling debts. It's also revealed that he was involved with the acccidental death of a college freshman in his fraternity days, due to a prank gone horribly wrong, he exploited this by blackmailing those who were also involved with the incident.
  • Les Collaborateurs: To his great embarrassment, the uncle of Ennaeus den Koninghe was a collaborator during WWII. He himself is accused of being one by a Jewish Holocaust survivor, on account of the close physical resemblance to his uncle.
  • The Coroner: Ennaeus den Koninghe.
  • Cult: "De Cock en de moord op de vader" features one. Its leader, Kalin Chagin, kills the father of a female member (in front of her) after he tries to convince her to leave the cult and come home with him
  • Da Chief: Superintendant Buitendam, even though he does not concern himself with day-to-day affairs, except to meddle whenever he's nervous.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Den Koninghe and Vledder. Den Koninghe towards Vledder and Vledder towards Den Koninghe and towards suspects during interrogations.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: De Cock almost always gets one at Lowietje's pub. An offhand remark by pub owner Lowietje leads him to crack the case. Vledder never understands this, but De Cock always leaves the pub, forcing Vledder to follow him out. As a consequence Vledder never gets to finish the drink Lowietje serves him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Victim of the Week in "De Cock en de moord in Club Shirley" is the son of a powerful crime boss, who turns out to have been murdered by his own brother because he disapproved of and was disgusted by the latter's plans to start making money by overseeing the distribution of child pornography.
  • False Confession: Several suspects make one. De Cock never falls for these, even though Supt. Buitendam often does out of wishful thinking.
  • Fanservice Extra: De Cock's favorite bar is Lowietje, which is located within the Red Light District of Amsterdam. When De Cock and Vledder are hanging out in the bar waiting for a "Eureka!" Moment, there are always prostitutes visible in the background.
  • Flashback: Every episode features a flashback to the murder itself so that the audience can see it for themselves.
  • Fiery Redhead: Vera Prins. A bit of a subversion, because she isn't as fiery, though she is a redhead.
  • Freestate Amsterdam: Subverted. The series does take place in Amsterdam of course and although drug use, prostitution and liberal attitudes are there, it is not nearly as clearly emphasised as the stereotype would have it.
  • Get Out!: Said at least once per episode by Buitendam to De Cock.
  • Happily Married: De Cock and Keizer.
  • I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: Often uttered. Most of those who do get manslaughter convictions. One or two suspects did mean to kill, but killed the wrong person.
    • A concrete example of this would be the manslaughter in the episode "De Cock en de moord op het beest", where the killers only intended to beat up the victim (badly), but accidentally knocked him off a balcony instead, leading to his death.
  • Inspector Javert: Inspecteur Tuinstra in De Cock in de zaak Vledder. He is determined to see Vledder convicted even though he is innocent. This is because he seeks revenge against De Cock, who had Tuinstra demoted after dereliction of duty years before.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Not seen on screen, but both De Cock and Buitendam are known to have extracted a confession using force in the past.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Vledder thinks of himself as quite the ladies' man note , but he is only moderately successful. He has had his string of girlfriends, but some women are simply not impressed by his antics. Unfortunately one of them happens to be his colleague Vera Prins, for whom Vledder has feelings.
  • Leitmotif: The series uses music and sound to emphasise the mood, especially when the murder is featured but also to underline humour.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Subverted, in the person of Superintendant Buitendam. He tries to run a tight ship and has a meddlesome personality. At least once an episode he puts pressure onto De Cock to solve the case faster. But he is also known to turn a blind eye to aid De Cock. Sometimes his superiors force him to be obstructive, making Buitendam more of a Beleaguered Bureaucrat at times.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: De Cock is the old cop, his partner Vledder the young cop.
  • Serial Killer: De Cock has to deal with one in season three. The serial killer is after red-haired women. De Cock employs Vera Prins as decoy, enabling him to arrest the serial killer (see Serial Killer Baiting below).
  • Serial Killer Baiting: Used in the aptly named episode "De Cock en de seriemoordenaar", where a serial killer is going after red-haired women. As the use of a profiler isn't helping the case forward, De Cock devises a different strategy: He uses Vera Prins (a redhead) as bait and sends her to the neighbourhhood where the next murder was going to take place according to him (the killer used the Big Dipper constellation as a map for his killings). Another red-headed woman shows up, only for him to be the murderer disguised in drag.
  • Spell My Name With An S: De Cock always spells out his name when first introducing himself to somebody, to avoid that they will spell it as "kok" ("cook" in English), which is the more common spelling for this word.
  • Split Personality: The killer of the episode "De Cock en de enge moord" was suffering from this, with his homocidal side only coming out under extreme duress (see Split-Personality Switch Trigger below). Furthermore, his homocidal alter ego had even learned skills (such as reading and writing), which the victim did not know at all, making this more a case of entirely separated personalities.
  • Split-Personality Switch Trigger: The killer of the episode "De Cock en de enge moord" suffered one of these shortly before killing his victim. He was trying to convince the victim to not force his girlfriend (his ex) to have an abortion, but the victim merely pushed him around and mocked him for it (even stating that he should bone her himself, if he wanted her to be with child). This caused the killer to switch to his homocidal persona, who promptly picked up a knife and went to town on the victim.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Averted. The soundtrack fits the scenes very well, reinforcing the mood.
  • Strictly Formula: The show ran on this trope to such a degree, that there was a specific set of instructions for the writers of an episode (called "the format" or "the bible") to which they (strictly) had to adhere. More specifically:
    • Every episode started with someone discovering a corpse (followed by the series' intro).
    • After the intro, the story continues at the crime scene, with De Cock and his team (and the CSI's) present.
    • This is followed by De Cock and Vledder informing the relatives of the victim about the victim's death, as well as some (mild) questioning.
    • Within the next couple of scenes, all of the possible suspects are introduced and at least one of them is brought into the interrogation room for further questioning, which (usually) reveals his or her innocence.
    • De Cock has to visit Buitendam in his office, to discuss the progress he made on the case, which commonly ends with Buitendam dismissing De Cock with the words "D'r uit, De Cock!"
    • De Cock and Vledder continue their investigation and question some of the other suspects, which leads to little progress until...
    • De Cock visits Lowietje's pub with Vledder, where he has a cognac (or coffee, if it's still morning) and gets the inspiration for his "Eureka!" Moment either from Vledder or one of the other patrons in the pub.
    • Despite now knowing who the killer is, De Cock still has to prove the killer's guilt. He, therefore, sets up a trap for, or a confrontation with, the killer, where he tricks or coerces the killer into a full confession.
    • From this confession, the scene either immediately shifts to a flashback of the murder, or to the living room of De Cock, where the flashback is shown after some discussion.
    • After the flashback takes place, the scene (once more) shifts to the living room of De Cock, where the team (and De Cock's wife) discuss the solution of the case with De Cock, usually over drinks.
    • Other recurring elements are:
      • De Cock spelling out his name (with Ceeoooceekaa).
      • De Cock throwing his hat at a coat rack (either landing the throw or missing it).
  • Theme Naming: Most last names of the detective team are related to titles of aristocracy or professions:
    • De Cock: means the cook.
    • Den Koninghe: the King
    • Prins: Prince
    • Keizer: Emperor
    • De Graaff: the Count
  • The Teaser: The series had a teaser at the start of nearly every episode, which was used to reveal the corpse of the week. For two-parters, the teaser of the second part was replaced by a recap of the previous episode.
  • Twin Switch: The episode De Cock en de moord op de middenstip essentially revolves around this trope. Edwin Kuipers, a famous and talented striker for AFC Ajax, is found strangled on the Amsterdam Arena pitch. His surviving twin, Robin Kuipers, is a mediocre soccer player and plays for an amateur side. When the girlfriend of Edwin is murdered and Robin starts to suffer from an injury attributed to Edwin whilst playing a superb match, De Cock deduces that Edwin killed Robin and took his place to escape persecution and to atone for him murdering his brother in a row. The row also was the consequence of regular Twin Switching as Edwin allowed Robin to take his place in the Ajax squad every once in a while. However, the two got into an argument when Edwin wanted to back out and Edwin ended up strangling Robin.
  • Volleying Insults: Always happens between Den Koninghe and Vledder after the (first) body is discovered, albeit in a snarking and mild manner. Den Koninghe cannot stand Vledder, whom he regards as an upstart with a questionable sense of humour. Vledder thinks of Den Koninghe as a corpse-obsessed, humourless and bad tempered man. Both think of each other as arrogant.
  • Wrongly Accused: Vledder. In De Cock en de zaak Vledder he is wrongly accused of murder after having been set up by the real murderer.